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Cover-up for failed social uplift

Cover-up for failed social uplift

Author: Sandhya Jain
Publication: Organiser
Date: January 28, 2007
URL: http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=168&%20%20page=15

The Justice Sachar Committee and the lesser noticed Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission (National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities) have both been established by the present UPA regime to honour the old colonial design to vivisect India. Nominated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a convenient tool in the hands of western nations determined to continue the White Man's supremacy in a supposedly post-colonial world, and their agenda is being ably guided by the Italian-born Roman Catholic president of the Congress party, Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

The divisive aspect of her agenda is immediately visible. There is the shoddy Indo-US nuclear deal to which the scientific community remains firmly opposed; the fake dialogue with Pakistan which puts the status of Jammu & Kashmir into question; the move to vacate the Siachin glacier to facilitate a Pakistani walkover into this strategic zone; the encouragement to Muslim clergy in Assam to demand political reservations for the community; the failure to react to the genocide of Hindus in Assam and the privileging of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants; and, above all, the surreptitious move to bring Christian converts into the ambit of political reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (via Ranganath Mishra Commission) and thus create a formidable and fractious Christian lobby in the Indian Parliament and State Legislatures.

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan's recent Dalit-Minority International Conference fits in neatly with this agenda, and that is why it was inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It is said that Shri Paswan intends to hold the conference overseas every two years, with international sponsors; hence it is not difficult to imagine the forces that are instigating and promoting Dalit and Muslim alienation from the larger Hindu society. It is inconceivable that such a sentiment could even be voiced in the lifetime of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; Ms. Sonia Gandhi, however, is made of different stuff.

In pursuit of his political obligations, Dr. Manmohan Singh made the startling observation at the Dalit-Minority International Conference (December 27, 2006) that "some minorities in India have done better than others… Jains and the Sikhs have fared relatively well from the process of social and economic development. However, other minorities, especially the Muslim community in certain parts of our country, have not had an equal share of the fruits of development." The statement is erroneous and repulsive on several counts.

To begin with, under the Indian Constitution, the Sikh, Jaina and Bauddha (Buddhists) communities fall within the ambit of the larger Hindu community, as they are all of Indic origin. Thus, these smaller, distinct but not opposing groups, are part of the majority community and are not minorities. This position has also been upheld by the Supreme Court in several judgements, and this is also the reason why the Hindu Code Bill applies equally to Sikhs, Jainas and Bauddhas. For the Prime Minister, therefore, to position Indic communities as "minorities" is not only an open violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, but enunciates minorityism as state policy. It is a mockery of national unity.

This also conflicts with the Supreme Court's warning not to encourage the proliferation of minorities on the basis of religion; else this would encourage "fissiparous tendencies" and fracture the secular fabric of the nation. The Prime Minister, no doubt, prodded by Congress supremo. Sonia Gandhi, is doing precisely the opposite-pandering to minorityism and creating community consciousness based upon religious identity alone, when the Constitution enjoins the State to have no religion at all.

Further, at this conference, the Prime Minister claimed that the Sachar Committee Report had established the plight of Muslims in terms of their social, economic and educational status. Dr. Singh declared his commitment to eradicate these inequities. Thus, in one quantum jump, the Prime Minister converted the entire Muslim citizenry into a single religious-cum-political grouping, with common secular problems and aspirations. It is a recipe for disaster, as it assumes that all Muslims reject the constitutional ideals of equality, justice and freedom of conscience, and crave for special treatment, when experience shows that special privileges only reinforce alienation and inequality.

It can also, in states like Assam, where the ISI has proved remarkably adept in turning the anti-Bangladeshi migrants ULFA into an anti-Hindu workers outfit, lead to a demand for restoration of communal electorates or reserved seats for Muslims. It may be pertinent to recall in this connection that in the run-up to the last Assembly elections in Assam, Ms. Sonia Gandhi at a public rally virtually instigated the Muslim clerics present on the dais to demand some kind of communal representation.

To my mind, the most noteworthy aspect of the Sachar Committee was that it failed to pin Muslim economic or educational backwardness upon either the Indian State or the Hindu community. India's Muslims receive thousands of crores annually as aid from rich Muslim countries. In addition, the community has approximately five lakh Wakf properties worth an estimated Rs. 1.2 lakh crore, and thus capable of yielding handsome dividends to the community. It is a mystery why these resources are not used to found quality schools, colleges and hospitals that could serve both the Muslim community as well as the larger local communities in the regions where these would be located. Such initiatives would win enormous respect for the community from local communities as well as the nation as a whole. It is truly inexplicable why the visible presence of huge financial resources with the Muslim community should go hand-in-hand with poverty, backwardness, and a general sense of helplessness among ordinary Muslims. Community leaders, it would appear, have much to answer for.

Even more unacceptable is the argument that lower caste converts, the so-called ajlaf and arzal groups, are worthy of inclusion in SC/ST quotas because they are discriminated by the upper caste Ashrafs. These are the descendants of Islamic invaders of the medieval period, and their discrimination against indigenous converts is a form of racism that needs to be quelled through strong legal action, as mandated by the Constitution and the penal code, and not institutionalised by the State!

Surprisingly, neither the Prime Minister nor Ms. Sonia Gandhi has shown sensitivity on the one issue where Muslims have a genuine grievance, viz., missionary predations in the Kashmir Valley. Last December, the murder of a Christian convert in a Srinagar village brought to light the interesting phenomenon of missionary activism in the troubled State, particularly following the forced exodus of the Hindu minority there in 1990 and thereafter. Thus, while the 0.2 million-strong Hindu population has been reduced to just 6,000, the Christian population has been a startling growth, from just 650 in the 1981 census to around 13,000 at present, all of which is on account of conversion of Muslims. For a country and the regime that supposedly privileges Muslims above all groups, this silence is revealing-it exposes Ms. Gandhi's abiding commitment to the West's agenda for India, especially the conversion of its entire citizenry to Christianity. Muslims, it would appear, are to be appeased only to the extent that they hurt Hindu interests or sentiments; otherwise they may be safely ignored.

(The writer is a senior columnist.)

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